On July 24, 2020, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a statement and a video to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Chairman stated:
“The signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act thirty years ago was a significant milestone in our nation’s ongoing quest to provide equality for all. The ADA recognizes that those with disabilities are equal to everyone else, bars discrimination against them, and establishes that they’ll have access to important aspects of our society, from jobs to accommodations, on par with those without disabilities.
“The FCC’s core mission is to help ensure that every American has access to advanced communications, including the tens of millions of Americans with disabilities. The FCC implements and enforces Title IV of the ADA, which requires telephone and VoIP companies to provide a nationwide system of telecommunications relay services. TRS allows individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind, or have speech disabilities to communicate with others in a way that’s functionally equivalent to those without disabilities. And building off the success of TRS, the FCC has leveraged new developments in technologies for accessible communications, such as automatic speech recognition, videoconferencing, and real-time text.
“The FCC also practices what we preach. We ensure equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to disability—mental, intellectual, or physical. We have also worked diligently to ensure equal access for persons with disabilities to the FCC’s public-facing applications, such as our website and licensing systems.
“Of course, the FCC still has work to do. But for every challenge that remains in fulfilling the ADA’s objectives, we can unlock greater opportunities by overcoming those challenges. Seizing these opportunities is critical to our economy, quality of life, and global competitiveness. We will continue to use every tool in our toolkit to do just that, and improve the lives of persons with disabilities.
“On behalf of the FCC’s dedicated staff, it is my honor to say that we join all Americans in celebrating the ADA’s 30th anniversary.”
Links to Chairman Pai’s Statement:
Chairman Pai’s Video, which is captioned and includes an ASL version is located at: https://youtu.be/_i10H72rnjg.
For more information about the ADA and the FCC’s work in the accessibility space, please visit www.fcc.gov/accessibility.